CHARLIE Curnow's 2020 season appears to be over, after the star Carlton forward sustained a further setback to his troublesome right knee problem.

A further six weeks could be added to Curnow's likely return date, after he sustained a hairline stress response in the bone while rehabbing from dual knee injuries at his family home in Torquay.

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"Ultimately his patella is showing us that there is still a weakness around one of the original screw holes," Carlton footy boss Brad Lloyd said in a statement.

"This stress response is an indication to us that his knee requires more time to heal.

"Charlie is walking around with only a small amount of discomfort. He does not require any surgery, but given the nature of this injury, it’s likely this will result in a four to six week setback.

"It remains difficult to determine if Charlie will be ready to play this season. However, it does appear more unlikely than likely.

"We will continue to manage the situation to ensure the long-term interests of Charlie and his time in the game are protected, while also supporting him throughout this time as he continues his recovery."

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Serious blow for Carlton as Curnow limps off

Charlie Curnow heads down to the rooms after a collision to his right knee

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Curnow was initially forced to have surgery in October after suffering a dislocated kneecap while playing non-competitive basketball with teammates, before slipping on tiles in November and fracturing the patella on the same knee.

He underwent further surgery after the second setback, with fears the promising young forward could miss most of the 2020 season as a result of the dual blows. 

Speaking with the club website last week, Curnow said he was confident of returning at some stage throughout the upcoming season – which is currently in the midst of a suspension period as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

"I'm hoping to play footy this year and I'm definitely not ruling anything out … I'm pretty confident I will," Curnow said.

Curnow had already endured an injury-riddled 2019 campaign, playing just 11 matches after suffering in-game collision injuries to the same right knee against both Port Adelaide and Fremantle.